Joshua DuBois

This week we talk to President Obama's former "Pastor-in-Chief" and longtime spiritual advisor, Joshua DuBois. DuBois led the White House faith-based initiative during Obama's first term, and has just released his new book, "The President's Devotional." The book provides 365 of the best readings and prayers he sent the President every morning and is full of ways to start each morning with grace and joy. Other topics on this week's show include the absurdity of homestyle restaurants, getting kicked out of the Boy Scouts and evolving the dollar menu, so it's pretty much a classic episode...

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Joshua DuBois - "The President's Devotional"

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Question of the Week

What is your most awkward restaurant story?

From the single person sitting at the 8-person hibachi table to the massive plate of untouched food at the family-style Italian place, restaurants can be an awkward place. So this week we want to know what is the most awkward thing you've ever seen in a restaurant or the most awkward thing to ever happen to you in a restaurant.

18 Comments

Nikki Brown Rice

9

Nikki Brown Rice commented…

So this one time my husband's family was meeting for a little reunion. We drove from Cincinnati to Lexington, Kentucky and some of the family was flying in from Denver. We decided to meet at a hotel restaurant because they sold Montgomery Inn ribs which are a big deal, especially to the family coming in from Denver who hadn't had them in over 15 years.

We had a reservation for 12 which is when the restaurant opened for lunch. There were a series of subtle hints all pointing us to the fact that this was a bad idea but we didn't realize until after. First off, when we got there no one else was at the restaurant. I mean 20 plus tables and there was not a soul in sight. 5 minutes goes by after we ring the bell and my Mother-in-law goes to find someone. The place was set up like a hedge maze so another 5 minutes go by and she comes back alone. Then randomly a manager pops up and is very surprised to see us there. She sat us reluctantly, despite us having a reservation, and then disappears. We are seated as far away from the kitchen as possible and we can't see anything because there is a ton of fake foliage covering all the half-walls.

10 minutes later a server emerges and takes our drink orders and I will fast forward from there. About an hour after we had placed our meal orders the manager comes to us and says they can't serve the ribs and half of the other items ordered because they aren't on the menu. We soon discovered we had been given the dinner menu instead of the lunch menu. We asked/pleaded for them to at least make the ribs for us since they had already had our orders for an hour and we had come here specifically for the ribs. She said she would see what she could do and left. We didn't see her again for over an hour.

The first plate of "food" didn't arrive until 2 hours after we got there, which consisted of dinner rolls we had asked for, instead of the sliced sandwich bread we would have gotten if we had not specified. One by one the plates came out and it was a different person each time. At one point a guy came out in a chef's hat with a plate of food just wandering around like there was a table somewhere else in the place waiting for food. We were still the only ones there. % minutes after he dropped the food off we saw him wandering around the lobby of the hotel, still in his chef hat. 4 of us still didn't have food.

We were having a great time, enjoying each other's company but we weren't eating. So about the time the last plate of food arrived, at 2:15 or so, we realized that some of us had gotten the wrong food, some of it was cold or old or what have you. The manager from the beginning of our story comes back and asks us if everything is ok. My husband's Aunt tells her politely that she received the wrong order and she will go ahead and eat it because she is hungry and it has been so long, but she doesn't want to pay the price of the meal she had originally ordered.

The manager breaks into tears and is sobbing. This is like the kind of sobbing you do after your favorite character is killed off in the season finale. Okay it was worse than that, it was like the sobbing you would do if you got dumped at the prom or something. She told us how sorry she was and how the kitchen staff wouldn't listen to her and that she was new and everything was terrible and so on. We felt bad for her. None of us were even that mad, we just didn't want to pay a higher price for food we didn't get. We told her it was okay and tried to console her a little and she wiped her eyes on a napkin and said she would be back in a minute.

It was so laughably awkward and bad at one point my husband said, "This has got to be a joke or candid camera or something, we have got to be on TV. Where are the cameras?"

It was a little after 3 and we had not been seen by anyone since the crying manager so we thought it really was a trick. We didn't want to dine and dash, but if there was ever a time I didn't feel like I should pay for food, it was this time. I don't think the managers and chefs and servers meant to serve us poorly, but I do think they just forgot we were there.

The head manager eventually came around after we had been told he would come see us in a few minutes because he had to put pants on (awkward...). A few minutes turned into a half an hour. By the time we got out of that place it was nearly time for dinner. The whole situation was salvaged by being with family and getting a great deal on the food we had but that was definitely the worst/weirdest/ most awkward restaurant situation I have ever been in.

p.s. I hope Kourtney Gallegos posted on the question also because she has an awesome story but more so because she is my best friend ever and I want the whole Relevant podcast world to know it :)

Keji

36

Keji commented…

My story takes place at that well-known hibachi-style restaurant, Benihana. I went with my immediate family, and we ended up sharing a table with another family of four or so. The father in the other family seemed to be one of those boisterous, go-getter types who did a lot of talking/attempted joking with the restaurant staff and, once we arrived, with my family (and my family all tend to be on the quieter side with strangers). I think this guy had also had a decent amount to drink by the time dinner began, too. I was a student at UCLA at the time and wearing my school sweatshirt, and he became fixated upon this affiliation with UCLA for most of the night, randomly breaking into his variation of the Bruin 8-clap throughout our dinner experience. The 8-clap involves clapping 8 times in rhythm, then spelling U-C-L-A with 3 claps after each letter and a final “UCLA, fight, fight, fight!”, for those who don’t know. It gets you hyped during games, for sure! But Boisterous Dad’s rendition was rather loudly yelled for a restaurant setting at which no sporting event was taking place or being aired, and it went something like this: “YOU! rah-rah-rah SEE! rah-rah-rah ELLLLLL AHAHAHAHAHAHA…” It devolved into raucous laughter just like that. Every time. All I’d wanted was to enjoy my shrimp fried rice in peace.

Stephen Uchacz

8

Stephen Uchacz commented…

Last year I went out for appetizers with co-workers and one of my co-workers was celebrating her birthday so the waitress was notified and they brought over the big helmet with two giant moose antlers on it and she had to wear it while they sang.

After we were done having the apps, half the people had to leave but they were still 10 of is that were going to stay and have dinner together, also, another co-worker joined us who wasn't able to make it for the first part of the evening.

Upon his arrival he notified our new waitress that it was our co-worker's birthday, so a few minutes a different group of employees brought out the antlers and sang to her again.

I was sitting across the table from the birthday girl and as soon as she saw the antlers a second time, she was in complete shock. All of us around the table were killing ourselves laughing as they sang to her a second time!

Andrew Eiler

4

Andrew Eiler commented…

I went out to eat with a friend at a pancake place and we had a middle-aged waitress. Upon sitting down she greeted him with a more-than-friends type of hug and while embracing, asked, "how've you been sweety?" I scooted closer to the inside of my booth to avoid her but to my chagrin, she ran around and did the same to me. She said "you aren't getting away without a big hug too!" As if that wasn't enough, we were having a serious conversation and when she walked by or refilled our drinks, she would occasionally stand right next to us and stare for a minute and/or try to interject into the conversation by forcing advice or asking us really personal questions.

Danielle Karthauser

9

Danielle Karthauser commented…

I know this is kinda late but I forgot to comment before the next podcast episode and have a funny story so figured I would share anyway.
When I was 12 and my brother was 9, my brother was on a hockey team and one night his team won a game so the families from the team all went out to dinner at a Fridays and the adults sat at one table and us kids sat at another. Virtually all of us ordered chicken fingers and, as usual, chicken fingers come with honey mustard dipping sauce though no one wanted theirs except for this one kid named Adam so we all put our dipping sauce in front of Adam. While Adam had all of the dipping sauces, he continually dipped in one specific cup. Later in the meal, a waiter passed by and he was stopped by the people at the table next to us and they asked him for some extra honey mustard dipping sauce. The waiter looked at our table, saw all the extra cups, and grabbed one and put it on their table. It was the only one Adam had been dipping in the entire night and we never said anything. :/

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